What is the end game after years of going to school? Perhaps to have a stable career and life but this does not happen overnight. It takes blood, toil, sweat and tears which is also the career goal in finance.
How do we do that? Well, people always say that a good education opens doors. A finance career works the same way given that there are different companies that you can work in after graduation which is why you should do some research first to find out what aspects of the industry interests you the most.
Just to give you an idea, some of the things you could find yourself in after graduation could be commercial banking, commercial lending, corporate finance, financial planning, investment banking, private equity and sales and trading.
When you are able to do some research in each of them, it will be easy for you to develop the skills needed to excel in this in the future.
A career in finance can happen if you graduate with a degree in math, economics or statistics. But since since the market is very competitive, you have to make yourself shine by learning an MBA degree years later. You do not have to get one after a couple of years of work since there are some individuals who are studying in their 40's.
Apart from that, it is best to read up journals and participate in conferences and become a member of a professional organization. You have to be informed of the latest trends and build up your network because that someone you know may get you that job you are looking for.
Two examples of these organizations include the American Bankers Association and the Association for Financial Professionals. They have events scheduled all year round that will allow you meet new people with similar career goals.
For those who do not have an idea what aspect of financing yet to pursue, this is the time to ask help from one of your professors. Surely, this person can tell you what kind of job is closely related to what was taught in class. With that in your head, it is time to look for companies that engage in exactly that.
While you are still in school, another thing that could help will be to apply as an intern in one of these firms. Some companies will give a salary while other will not. If you do well here, they will probably give you an offer even before you graduate or encourage you to work for them full time.
If the company you are looking for does not have any vacancies at the moment, leave your resume or application anyway so that if an opening comes up, someone will give you a call so all you have to do is give it your best during the interview.
At the same time, be active in your school organization because an alumni member may on the lookout for new talents which will be beneficial for the company.
We all need to focus on something so an idea can be turned into a plan and then executed. A career goal in finance is just one example because people with other interests can do the same thing and succeed in whatever endeavor that they choose to pursue.